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Xotic PC NP9150: Striking Back At Kepler With Radeon HD 7970M

System And Benchmark Configurations

Test System Configuration
Xotic PC / Sager NP9150Eurocom Racer 2.0
CPUIntel Core i7-3820QM (Ivy Bridge) 2.7 GHz-3.7 GHz, Four Cores, Hyper-Threading Enabled, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache
ChipsetIntel HM77 Express PCH
RAMSamsung M473B5273DH0-YK0 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 C11Samsung M473B5273DH0-YK0 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 C11
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7970M: 850 MHz, 2 GB GDDR5-4800Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M: 835 MHz, 2 GB GDDR5-4000
Graphics 2Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M: 620 MHz, 2 GB GDDR5-3000
Hard DriveIntel SSD 520 SSDSC2CW120A3 120 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerFSP 19 V, 9.47 A Adapter
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Graphics1204122214-8.951.6-120329b-136980C-ClevoNvidia GeForce 302.71

We have no clue why Eurocom chose a three-module memory configuration for its dual-channel notebook, and we certainly wouldn’t have asked Xotic PC to do the same for comparison purposes. These two configurations are otherwise well-matched, except for the graphics modules that are the focus of today's comparison.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF) Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps Test Set 1: High Detail Defaults (8x AA, 8x AF) Test Set 2: Ultra Detail Defaults (8x AA, 16x AF)
StarCraft IIVersion 1.4.4, Tom's Hardware custom map Test Set 1: High Texture, High Quality Test Set 2: Ultra Textures, Extreme Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Handbrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.2.0.5440: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.01: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages

Even though the same motherboard and CPU is used by both systems, changes in memory configuration and GPU overhead caused us to include a mid-sized battery of non-gaming applications in today’s benchmark suite.

  • Did the test show any sign of 7970M utilization issue? It is a well known problem reported by many members from Notebookreview forum.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    QKVenGenDid the test show any sign of 7970M utilization issue? It is a well known problem reported by many members from Notebookreview forum.Care to elaborate?
    Reply
  • sherlockwing
    CrashmanCare to elaborate?
    If I recall it is a Enduro related bug causing 7970M to be under utilized in games like BF3, it was quite a big deal in June/July on NotebookReview's Forum, not sure if it is fixed by new drivers.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    BF3 results look fine to me :)
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    I find it hard to believe that the 7970M performs a bit too well in Battlefield 3. Even the 7870 and 660ti gets lower fps with the same settings at 1080p.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-geforce-gtx-650-benchmark,3297-7.html
    Reply
  • No games on 7970m doesant play fine. Most of them are affected by enduro underutilizaiotn which basicly causes the card to notutilize fully when lowering settings in games. For example , in bf 3 multiplayer( as there is no problem in singleplayer) when you enter a lrger map with 64p on it, youl get around 35 fps maxed but with dips down to 25 fps which is not enought for a fast paced shotter. So when setting are lowered you expect to get better fps right?? thats not the case with 7970m- the fps remains the same but utilization of the card drops down. This also happens in many other games that are sometimes even unplayable. You just cant achieve stable 60 fps no matter what settings- the lower the settings go, the lower the card utilization is. There is a logging thread, and many other threads regarding this issue on notebookreview. Amd adressed that there is a driver coming soon, but for users that have this card form half a year now its taking pretty long..
    Reply
  • I concur what Mahalsk said. A 7970M in a EM-series Clevo laptop IS NOT A GOOD DEAL for the price they are asking, since the card doesn't work properly. This is the case with all EM-series laptops and all 7970Ms out there. Even the 6900M series of AMD cards are beating 7970M at the moment with the Enduro issue unsolved.

    Check this thread (and the "Sager and Clevo forums") for more details:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/682097-7970m-logging-thread-games-utilization-issues-only-post-logs-no-questions-please.html

    , and AVOID 7970M for now. Its been months and no fix from either AMD or Clevo. You do not get what you pay for when bying this configuration.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    Crash I like the new metrics.

    Makes good sense to me.



    Reply
  • montage
    CrashmanBF3 results look fine to me
    You didn't test BF3 multiplayer wwith 64 players? The single player works fine, but the multiplayer suffers from enduro issues. Here are some screenshots taken by me:

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/716/bf320120727225130242.jpg/

    18 fps is not fine in my opinion. Also got 8 fps at times in Civ 5. I have a P170EM Clevo with 3610Qm and 7970M. Anandtech also posted an article concerning Enduro, and they weren't aware of Enduro issues either, but when the people from Notebook review informed them about it, they were able to reproduce the issues. They also edited their article to include a mention about the issue.

    The issue is real, and affect all AMD 7000M seriers card that are in laptops which have no MUX-cable. This cable allows a user to use only the dedicated GPU instead of the iGPU. When there is no MUX, the image is always forced through the iGPU, and the Enduro technology that is supposed to make this happen is broken. With Alienware's laptops that have MUX, you can force Enduro off and the issue goes away. If you enable Enduro in AW, the issue comes back.

    What you get is sudden FPS drops, stuttering, low GPU utilization. It does not affect every game, but I'd still say its present in most games, e.g. witcher 1 & 2, crysis 2, BF3 multiplayer (more evident on certain maps), GTA 4, etc. etc. (the list goes on).

    When you try to reduce the graphics level to get better fps, you only get lower GPU utilization and the same fps. Now this is a serious issue to people playing online shooting games and other competitive games.

    Notebook review forums have numerous threads about the issue, and we have been following how the situation develops for months now. So far, AMD has been very silent regarding fixes to these Enduro related issues.
    Reply
  • columbosoftserve
    Link to the Anandtech article:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6243/amds-enduro-switchable-graphics-levels-up/5

    Check the comments and the last 'update' part of the article. This card has been out for almost half a year now with broken switching software.
    Reply